Express Tribune staffer picked up, quizzed by 'men in plain clothes'

An Express Tribune staffer was picked up at Karachi University by men in plain clothes shortly after he attended a condolence meeting held for Dr Hasan Zafar Arif.

Dr Arif, a leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London, was found dead under “mysterious circumstances” in the Ibrahim Hyderi neighbourhood of Karachi on Sunday morning.

After being investigated for an hour, Fawad Hasan, a senior subeditor at The Express Tribune, was released.

Hasan confirmed the incident, saying: “Journalists should not be manhandled.” However, he wouldn’t say what he had been questioned about.

Another reporter, Arshad Yousafzai, claimed that Hasan was asked not to cover seminars and conferences like these, saying the latter’s phone calls were also being tapped.

@FawadHazan associated with @ExpressTribune Picked up by civil-dressed men from KU. He was setting next to me while attending a session on #DrHasanzafarArif.@aliarqam @zalmayzia

— Arshadyousafzai (@Arshadyousafzay) January 22, 2018

After attending this session on Dr Hasan Zafar Arif at #Karachi university, plainclothes men picked up journalist @FawadHazan few minutes ago, informed @Arshadyousafzay

— Zia Ur Rehman (@zalmayzia) January 22, 2018

@FawadHazan, Karachi-based journalist working with @etribune, was picked up from #Karachi Varsity today after covering a teacher condolence gathering on Dr Zafar Arif. He was freed later. Local #journalists say he was badly treated by his captors.#JournoSafe

— Freedom Network (@pressfreedompk) January 22, 2018

Fawad was doing a story on labour rights and dirty factories. Someone called him to KPC last week and told him to back off. He was doing a fellowship w Owais Aslam’s Pakistan Press Fndn @freepressunltd. He went underground. Kidnap attempt made

— Mahim Maher (@Mahim_Maher) January 22, 2018

Activists and journalists on social media were outraged over the incident.

Fawad is my colleague. This in unacceptable

— Waleed Tariq (@WaleedTariq89) January 22, 2018

Journalist @FawadHazan has been released. Thanks for showing up solidarity with him

— Zia Ur Rehman (@zalmayzia) January 22, 2018

Update: Fawad has been released. He was taken to the Rangers office, was badly beaten up and threatened quite a bit, and is in shock.

— Ammar Rashid (@AmmarRashidT) January 22, 2018

Reportedly a journalist picked up Fawad Hassan from Tribune allegedly picked up by plain clothes men from Karachi university after #RIPDrZafarArif reference

— Mubashir Zaidi (@Xadeejournalist) January 22, 2018

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